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EPA LEVIES FINES TOTALING $31,500 FOR FIVE SEPARATE VIOLATIONS OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT

 ATLANTA, Dec. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined Kimberly-Clark, Inc., Oxford, Ala. $5,000; the Mississippi Department of Transportation, Jackson Miss. $10,000; and Bruce A. Bartholomew, W. Kirk Beck and Frank W. Helmerich all of Fort Myers, Fla., $5,500 each; for the unauthorized discharge of fill material into wetlands without the prerequisite permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE).
 W. Ray Cunningham, Water Division director of EPA's southeastern region, said, "Let EPA's actions be a clear signal to potential violators throughout the Southeast that this agency will do everything in its power to enforce the law and prevent the unnecessary destruction of these very valuable resources."
 The penalties were assessed by the EPA Region IV office in Atlanta under a provision of the 1987 Clean Water Act which grants EPA authority to assess administrative penalties for violations of the act. Under this authority, EPA can assess administrative penalties of up to $125,000 for the discharge of dredge and fill material into wetlands. For more serious violations, EPA may refer cases to the U.S. Department of Justice where greater civil penalties and/or criminal sanctions can be sought.
 Wetlands are among the most environmentally beneficial areas in the nation. They include marshes, swamps, bogs, bottomland hardwood wetlands, and similar areas. Wetlands are composed of unique soils and plants that provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife, water purifications, erosion control, flood control during storms and recreation. Although wetland areas exist throughout the Southeast, they are rapidly being destroyed. Each year, about 458,000 acres of wetlands are destroyed in the United States.
 The EPA and the COE are working together to implement Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which requires that a permit be obtained before placing fill in waters of the United States or wetlands areas. EPA strongly encourages all property owners desiring to excavate or fill wetlands or waters of the United States to contact the COE prior to beginning work.
 -0- 12/24/92
 /CONTACT: Carl Terry, press office of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 404-347-3004/


CO: United States Environmental Protection Agency; Kimberly-Clark, Inc.
 Mississippi Department of Transportation ST: Alabama, Mississippi, Florida IN: SU: EXE


BR-CF -- AT003 -- 9825 12/24/92 10:56 EST
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Date:Dec 24, 1992
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